Re: Shared Internet [was HOA Dues Structures
From: Henning Mortensen (
Date: Sun, 6 Sep 2020 13:40:47 -0700 (PDT)
At Prairie Spruce with 21 units we began with a single 300/140 feed. We had
intended to get another similar feed from another provider
but found that we are not using near the bandwidth I was expecting. Usually
we are using less than 10 mbps. If we ever need more we will pursue
load balancing and failover at that time. I am still seeing 280/120 at my
computer. 280 mbps is plenty speedy.

We have deployed 7 ubiquiti uap-ap-pro wifi points and have connection
almost everywhere in the building. (even in the workshop).
We also have wired internet to each of the 21 units.

I have had a number of complaints that the wifi was not strong enough for
zoom and such. I find the wifi will connect at distance but the speed is
I recommend that people use the wired internet as much as possible. Wifi
works for email and browsing, but you need to be close to the access point
to stream video. Our radios are in the hallway between the units so the
signal has to go through walls and such.

When talking with your providers, you should talk about providing wifi in
the common house. I was able to get one feed for the whole building by
emphasizing that we are a corporation and we need internet for our common
house. In the end the provider wired the connection right into our computer
room/closet, and proposed a contract with us that reduced our total cost to
$75/month ($3.50/unit) for the first five years

We then replaced the three telephones which were installed for enterphone,
elevator and alarm monitoring with Voip phones and saved $120/month so it
is as though our internet is free.
We use    It is very inexpensive. We spent 1.30 for the last six
months of enterphone. As the elevator and alarm are only calling out to
1-800 number there is no charge for those calls. has a
referal service where both the referer and the referee get an extra $10
credit with this we ended up with $45 in our enterphone account, $25 in
each of the other two for a total spend of $45. I would be happy to provide
the initial referal. Once you have the first account set up, use that to
set up the others.

please note that using our voip for elevator and alarm monitoring was only
done after we had battery backup for both the voip and also the internet
service. Our system will run for 30 minutes during a power outage.

Another thing that we did was to wire up our boiler and ERV using Bacnet/IP
to transmit the data over our network. We use a Bacnet Explorer to read all
sorts of telemetry from these devices.
It is really handy to be able to see what the systems are doing. We have
sort of hooked up a poorman's BAS system, something we removed from our
build in rightsizing the project (it was going to cost 50,000. So far we
have spent ~$200, to be able to retrieve, log, and graph the information
these systems provide. This is not all full BAS system, as we can not
control the devices at this point, we can only read the data.

Well, I hope I have given you something to think about. I have really
enjoyed setting things up for my community. Am happy to help anyone trying
to do the same.
Henning Mortensen

ps. We were able to find used gigabit switches for $30. These are first
generation gigabit switches but they work well. We use DLink dgs1024
switches. They are a bit power hungry but we can work on that as we

On Sun, Sep 6, 2020 at 12:59 PM Yochai Gal <yochaigal [at]> wrote:

> Hello. I'm a network engineer/sysadmin by trade, so this interests me
> highly.
> Is that 200/20 each unit, or total? And aside from the WAN failover between
> the two ISPs, do you also Do load balancing (e.g. combine both connections
> for a faster connection)?
> 200/20 shared between 34 units is paltry for that size, even considering
> low-usage per household. Frankly I'd be amazed if this was the case. The
> biggest issue would be the upload speed, but even then 200Mbps down split
> 34 ways with average usage isn't ideal.
> The city our community resides in (Northampton, MA) is considering
> community fiber, but until then we are sort of stuck with Comcast cable per
> household, unfortunately.
> Thanks for the info!
> On Sun, Sep 6, 2020, 2:26 PM Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L <
> cohousing-l [at]> wrote:
> > > On Sep 1, 2020, at 9:23 PM, Yochai Gal <yochaigal [at]> wrote:
> > >
> > > You have a shared Internet plan?
> > > Can you expound on that?
> >
> > We initially wired all our units for internet connections just like we
> did
> > for telephone connections. We went through many iterations of things to
> > find out what worked. We had to find the balance between being a business
> > and being a residential complex.
> >
> > Finally ended up with 2 business-class modem accounts from 2 providers,
> > Comcast and RCN. When one service is out, the other is still working.
> > Because they are business class, we get faster service if there are modem
> > problems.
> >
> > We have 200/20 service and it serves all 43 units plus the CH very well.
> > That’s with everyone home now and doing streaming as well as computer
> work.
> >
> > The future is wireless so you might not need wired at all. We now have
> > wireless connections everywhere—I think 3 routers reach most units. Some
> > wireless routers owned by the community and several people having their
> own
> > but they share them.
> >
> > This is much much cheaper than everyone having their own service, and
> > certainly cheaper than everyone having their own 200.20 service. You can
> > calculate this by going to your local cable provider’s website.
> >
> > Sharon
> > ----
> > Sharon Villines
> > Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> _________________________________________________________________
> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.